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ciz&iz’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 02 Jul 2005

Location: LaxmanJula, Rishikesh, India

MapGreetings from the land of yoga and chubby blue Gods,

Still in Rishikesh, the town made famous in the west by the Beatles coming here finding their guru. We obviously had to go and have a peak at the now deserted and overgrown ashram. According to legend, the "Beatles' Guru" became very famous himself after their visit, and found his fortune made with heeps of lost souls from the west coming to him (with their fat wallets) for guidance in their search of spiritual enlightenment. Rishikesh flourished, and so did his ashram, and the Indian government got the news and as always wanted their "fare" share of the deal in taxes. Our famous guru was having nothing of this, and so fled the country and is now heard of living (and probably making even more money) in Holland. The ashram, however, was left to its own devices and slowly began to decay. Today, it's inhabited by sadhu squatters, monkeys, dogs and cows of course. The grey monkeys living here with the sadhus are a much calmer breed than the usual brown ones and will pick nuts straight out of your palm if you feed them. It's a real shame the ashram isn't used anymore as when we went there we got a lovely energy feel off it. It's set between the mountains and the Ganges, up on a little hill, and unlike other ashrams we've seen it's built in a rounded shape rather than just square blocks, which gives a lot softer touch to the place. There will be pics, but we've given up on the download here, it will make you go crazy for less no matter how much yoga and meditation you do, so it has to wait until we hit a broadband area.

As for the Indian spirituality, we are becoming more and more doubtful. People are hooked on rituals and in all fareness, do they seriously believe that God almighty is a blue fatso, or a guy with an elephant head, and even if so be it, if you read the hindu God stories, they seem more like some crazy manga cartoon than anything you'd read to find enlightenment. But, I guess we have to be open to the possibility... Ciaran went along to one of the Krishna cermonies and was rather swept away by the energy there. People singing, dancing and drumming themselves into a state of frenzy, which reminded him of the good ol' Celtic spiral dances performed by our witches and druids so many years before Krishna was even thought of...

Rishikesh has been wonderful, but tomorrow it's time to leave for Dharamasala and D. Lama. We'll be just on time to celebrate his birthday on the 6th of July! (Don't know if I'll be able to bake him a cake though...)

Till the next time, all the best to y'all,
Ciz n Iz